The First of its Kind
The “House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center opened in 1995 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. As a public service center of The Evergreen State College, the Longhouse’s mission is to promote Indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development.
Indigenous Arts: Local, National, International
The Longhouse promotes Indigenous arts and culture at a local, national, and international level. In 1996, the Longhouse began a partnership with six local tribes to administer a Native economic development arts initiative. Since then, both our services and our geographical reach have expanded.
We host Native arts sales, exhibitions and performances; provide marketing services to artists; and through residency programs with master artists, we inspire new artists to develop their abilities and established artists to expand their capacities.
Gatherings of Artists from North America and the Pacific Rim
We host convenings of Indigenous artists and arts organizations from across North America and around the Pacific Rim. The Longhouse will be hosting the International Gathering in 2017!
We mentor other Native arts organizations, and provide programs that give individual artists the resources needed for artistic and professional growth. With support from the Ford Foundation, the Longhouse’s Native Arts Program has expanded beyond the Northwest region, into a national grant-making program for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists. The Longhouse has also established an international Indigenous residency program with the New Zealand government’s Ministry of Culture: the Toi Sgʷigʷialʔtxʷ residency program.
Intertribal and Intergenerational
All of the Longhouse’s programs are intertribal and intergenerational, although the majority of the participants are practicing adult artists. We also provide numerous opportunities for the public to engage with artists and their art through markets, exhibitions, presentations and other events.
(Image: A distance collaboration workshop with Tawera Tahuri (Māori) at the 2016 Generations Rising youth event)